Giving The Customer Shade

| Right | April 13, 2017

(I work in a high-end garden centre. In Canada, gardening season is summer only. In the winter (and much of the spring and snow), gardens are frozen. Our flowering plants are sorted by sun exposure: full sun to part shade. Because this is a high-end business, plants are generally more expensive than the ones sold in supermarkets or home improvement stores. As a result, some of our plants are covered by a warranty — but only if they’re cared for properly. One day, a man comes in with a large flat of dying plants. He wants us to refund them, and I’m checking that he followed our planting instructions.)

Me: “So you watered these regularly?”

Man: “Yes. Once or twice a week.”

Me: “And they were planted in full sun?”

Man: “Yes.”

Me: “That’s strange. They should have taken. How much direct sunlight did they get?”

Man: “All day. Obviously.”

Me: “All day? They weren’t in shade at all between sunrise and sunset?”

Man: “In the shade? They’re in the shade all day long. My garden is under a bunch of trees.”

Me: “Ah. These plants are full-sun. They won’t grow in shade. We can’t refund you if you planted them in the shade.”

Man: “But it’s bright shade! It’s summer shade! Why would that matter?”

Me: “These plants just won’t be healthy in the shade. If your garden is under trees and it never gets any direct sunlight, you need to buy shade plants.”

Man: “But it’s SUMMER SHADE! It should be bright enough.”

(I guess he thought our full-shade garden plants grew in winter shade…)

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